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How to Survive the Cold in New England When You Don’t Really Like the Cold

OK, let me clarify. I love the changing seasons—even winter. I love warm sweaters and leg warmers and fireplaces, and I love the feel of the hot heat on my face in the car. But I don’t like actually being out in the cold. I’m not a go-sledding-in-zero-degrees kind of mom. Or even in thirty degrees. I don’t care for walks where I can feel my lungs freezing up and my toes go numb. So here’s how to survive the cold in New England, when you don’t really like the cold. 

Dress warm. 

Duh. Maybe everyone else has already figured this out, but I’ve often found myself caught outside feeling like Anna at the end of Frozen because I’m not dressed properly. So, no matter how ridiculous I may look, I wear my faux fur hat. I put on my double layers of gloves, pants and sweaters. It makes a difference. And it’s important to make sure our own bodies are toasty—not just our kids’. 

Find the things you love about the cold.

I’ve mentioned a few already, but I do truly love the idea of cold weather and all the indoor things that go with it like a hot cup of coffee or soup or cuddling up with my family. One of my favorite parts? I also get to have a pretty spectacular spring, summer and fall, so I feel guilt-free spending a whole season in hibernation mode. 

Do find ways to get outside, even if they’re small. 

For me, a short walk is OK if there’s a hot chocolate reward at the end. There is something magical about having rosy cheeks and warming up after a (short) snowball fight. I love standing under falling snow and seeing my daughter’s eyes light up as she tries to catch snowflakes on her tongue. 

Make all the soup. 

Soup is one of life’s most perfect foods. And soup in the summer is just not the same as soup when it’s cold outside. Break out your Instant Pot or crock pot and make some of your favorites from scratch. 

Take advantage of indoor play spaces.

Become a regular at the Portsmouth Public Library because it’s amazing or your own town’s library. Check out Rumble Tumble in Portsmouth and the Children’s Museum in Dover because you will want to be outside when the weather is nice. Go to the Seacoast Science Center (it’s usually less crowded in the winter). 


Get your blood pumping with a workout you love. If running outside on icy sidewalks isn’t your thing, try an indoor class to get moving. Check out Bikram yoga if you haven’t already—it’s like a warm (sweaty) hug for your body. 

Remember the summer sun on your face.

Summer feels sweeter after you’ve thawed from the cold, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s nothing like shedding your layers after months of being bundled up. The first summer beach day feels like a huge well-deserved reward as you slip into your flip flops for the first time. 

There are a million reasons why I love New England. And even though freezing cold isn’t at the tippy top of my list (or even in the top ten), there are still a lot of ways to survive embrace it. 

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